Characterization of Climate Change Induced Increase in Summer Extreme Drought in the Okanagan Basin, BC

Description:Drought indices such as the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) characterize drought within the framework of their past occurrence. SPI is based on transforming a fitted distribution (usually gamma distribution) to a standard normal distribution making inter-area and inter-period comparisons possible. SPI and drought hazard analysis are however undermined by several sources of uncertainty including shifts in climate normals due to climate change and its effects on variability (i.e., interannual distribution), and various types of epistemic uncertainty including data incompleteness. Given such uncertainty, SPI procedure and subsequent results remain largely deterministic. Here, we introduce modifications to the traditional SPI to propagate variability and uncertainty making possible the study of effects of climate change while evaluating the reliability of traditional SPI results within the framework of propagated uncertainty. Using this approach increase in summer extreme drought occurrence for the Okanagan Basin, BC and reliability the results are modeled. The latter part is especially important as there is recognition that any hydrologic analyses results are limited by associated uncertainty and such analysis will strengthen modeling informativeness and overall usefulness.

Authors: Zargar, Amin ; Sadiq, Rehan

Subjects: Energy and Climate Change

Tags:ac2012

Citation:2012 BCWWA Annual Conference, Session 15, Penticton

Publication Date:Jul 1st, 2012 Upload Date:Jul 1st, 2012

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